Geoff recently joined the City Hearts board of trustees, bringing with him a wealth of experience, including a 32 year career with Merseyside Police.
Tell us a bit about yourself..
After two years as chief officer of the volunteer Special Constabulary, I finally retired from the force to concentrate on managing and leading the emergency response and medical services of the British Red Cross initially in the North then in national operations.
Translating my past experiences of supporting and helping those who are being held against their will into the charity sector, I developed a human trafficking response team in the North West of England. Drawing together partner agencies and professionals to train staff and volunteers, the team were then deployed into rescue centres, where survivors were received and supported in the initial hours following their liberation. I ensured that psycho-social experts were on hand to provide crucial help for both victims and their supporters affected by trauma.
Why are you a trustee?
Throughout the past 20 years, I have been involved in helping people in distress who have been held against their will. From first meeting City Hearts , I was inspired by their commitment and approach to supporting survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking. When the opportunity presented itself to join their board of Trustees, I jumped at the chance to work with this group of highly motivated and effective people with a proven track record of making a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the UK today.
What are you most excited about this year for City Hearts?
As a new trustee who is emerging from an extended period of shielding, I am most excited at being able to get out and to know the size and shape of City Hearts better. I am particularly looking forward to working alongside my fellow trustees and to being associated with an inspirational staff team, as more victims of human trafficking are supported and we make a real and measurable difference to their lives. I welcome the prospect of visiting some of the projects over the next 12 months and sharing the experiences of staff and survivors.